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Christmas tree of helmets highlights need for safety

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Cycle Care’s Christmas display for road safety with business owners and brothers Paul Decouto, left, and Steven Decouto (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

More than 2,000 unsafe helmets traded in for new models under a discount scheme have been turned into a display for Christmas.

The owners of Cycle Care, on Dundonald Street in Hamilton, said that at least three people have told them that replacing their worn-out crash helmets may have saved their lives after they were in accidents.

“What started out as a business idea has done a lot for road safety,” Steven DeCouto, who runs the dealership with his brother Paul, told The Royal Gazette on Friday.

He said that crash helmets are recommended to be changed every five years, but the price has led to many people driving with deteriorated helmets unsafe for the roads.

The DeCoutos got an “overwhelming response” after they brought in the discount trade-in last year.

“People have been coming in with atrociously bad helmets because they couldn’t afford to get new ones.”

Mr DeCouto said that some of the models being traded in carried the names of well-known motorcycle brands but were not actually affiliated with the manufacturers.

“They’re not approved to our safety standards,” he said.

“They’re just plastic — there is no real protection from them.”

Cycle Care staff in Hamilton built a Christmas tree from more than 2,000 old and dangerous helmets taken off the roads (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Under the scheme, customers get $100 off the cost of a new Nolan helmet in exchange for a used one, or $50 off other brands.

Faced with a pile of dud helmets, Cycle Care staff set up a wooden frame and turned the mountain into a Christmas display, complete with lights.

“It’s pretty impressive,” Mr DeCouto said.

“It’s an opportunity to let people see what unsafe helmets look like.”

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Published December 20, 2021 at 7:35 am (Updated December 20, 2021 at 7:35 am)

Christmas tree of helmets highlights need for safety

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